Copper theft continues to put lives at risk

12 March 2024

There have been 74 incidents of copper theft recorded across the Ausgrid network since August 2023, causing almost half-a-million dollars in damage, disrupting thousands of customer’s electricity supply, and significantly increasing safety risks.

The latest analysis by Ausgrid has shown criminals are increasingly moving away from breaking into depots, to now cutting down power poles with chainsaws and cutting off earth wires to strip copper.
Ausgrid Group Executive for Operations Sam Sofi said the ongoing criminal attacks on the network are putting lives at risk and extending outages for our communities.

Copper theft is a serious public safety issue. These criminals are not just putting their own lives at risk but are also endangering the surrounding communities by leaving powerlines exposed, often cut and lying on the ground

Sam Sofi, Ausgrid Group Executive for Operations 

“Not only does this disrupt power supply but it diverts resources away from our emergency crews and their ability to respond to incidents across our network.

“These criminal acts impact our customers. Each time thieves try to steal copper Ausgrid customers experience power supply issues and the risk of encountering exposed wires increases.

“All incidents of copper theft are reported to the police, and we have successfully identified and convicted several offenders. No amount of copper is worth a life.”

If you see fallen powerlines always assume they are live, stay at least eight metres back and call Ausgrid on 13 13 88. All incidents have been reported to the police. Anyone who may have any information is urged to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Ausgrid Media | 9966 7985

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